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"California Dreamin'...On A Winter's Day"

Updated: Feb 7, 2019

The Mamas & The Papas weren't kidding... thanks to the West Coast climate, CA residents often enjoy outdoor living long after the rest of the country has packed up their outdoor furniture for the winter.




Indoor-outdoor living comes with the territory in California. Thanks to the West Coast’s temperate climate, residents can enjoy alfresco dining and lounging long after the rest of the country has packed their outdoor furniture away from the winter. To take advantage of the mild temperatures—not to mention the incredible vistas—architects and designer have created spaces that blur the boundaries between inside and out. From living rooms that extend into terraces to open-air dining rooms, these spaces showcase the best aspects of living on the coast. Peruse these stylish homes to find inspiration—or the motivation you need to make the move to the Golden State.


INDIAN WELLS: A crystal chandelier hangs above the chic outdoor living area at designer Emily Summers's 1960s Indian Wells home. Photo: Roger Davies

INDIAN WELLS: A 1954 Willy Guhl loop chair sits beside a custom fountain in the courtyard. Photo: Nikolas Koenig

BEVERLY HILLS: As the sun sets on Los Angeles, it’s the perfect time for a restorative swim at a Marmol Radziner–designed home in the Trousdale Estates neighborhood of Beverly Hills. Photo: Roger Davies

BEVERLY HILLS: Crape myrtles provide an outdoorsy view from the master bedroom. Photo: Roger Davies

RANCHO MIRAGE: The expansive grounds at the Rancho Mirage home of designer Michael S. Smith and diplomat James Costos glow under the wide desert sky. Photo: Roger Davies

RANCHO MIRAGE: The master bedroom's airy sitting area is anchored by a Ben Soleimani for RH rug and has views across the Coachella Valley. Photo: Roger Davies

LAGUNA BEACH: A third-story terrace at a family’s Laguna Beach home has views of the Pacific Ocean. Atelier AM decorated the open-air space with an oak cocktail table and decorative throw pillows. Photo: Roger Davies

LAGUNA BEACH: Surfboards stand at the ready in front of a handsome Laguna Beach home devised by KAA Design. Photo: Roger Davies

MALIBU: A 168-foot swimming pool runs parallel to the Pacific at the Malibu home of real-estate powerhouse Kurt Rappaport. Photo: Scott Frances

MALIBU: The spacious living room is separated into two intimate sitting areas and has panoramic views of the glistening ocean. Photo: Scott Frances

MALIBU: Floor-to-ceiling windows and wide French doors maximize stellar ocean views in the guesthouse. Photo: Scott Frances

LAGUNA BEACH: A broad natural teak expanse and marble slab steps create a laid-back atmosphere for the landscaped front entrance to a Steven Ehrlich–designed Orange County home. Photo: Roger Davies

LAGUNA BEACH: An open-air dining area in the center of the home is furnished with a table and chairs by Ramón Esteve for Gandiablasco. Photo: Roger Davies

LAGUNA BEACH: A breezy living area, furnished with a Roche Bobois sofa and silver stools from Cantoni, overlooks the Pacific. Photo: Roger Davies

BEVERLY HILLS: At fashion designer Jenni Kayne's Beverly Hills home, the study opens onto a serene outdoor space complete with a fountain and reflecting pool. Photo: Roger Davies

BEVERLY HILLS: The main living/dining room opens onto a sitting area out back, and the fireplace serves both the interior and the poolside spaces. Photo: Roger Davies

WOODSIDE: With its sliding glass walls tucked away, the living room melds with the terrace at the Woodside residence of Anne and Edward Storm, which was conceived by Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects, with interiors by April Powers and landscaping by Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture.

WOODSIDE: London plane trees shade the poolside dining area; the director's chairs are by Janus et Cie, and the tables were custom made by Buddy Rhodes Concrete Products. Photo: Roger Davies

LOS ANGELES: Dinah and Bill Ruch enlisted Pamela Shamshiri of the interior design firm Commune to restore and update their 1935 Los Angeles house, formerly the site of legendary Hollywood parties. Vintage chairs and chaise lounges line the pool.

MALIBU: Designer Waldo Fernandez and architect Michael Kovac collaborated on the renovation of Jamie McCourt's 1980 John Lautner beach house in Malibu. The swooping roofs are capped with copper. Vintage outdoor seating and tables by Walter Lamb are arrayed on the teak deck. Photo: Roger Davies

MALIBU: In the master bedroom, Jean Royère–style poufs clad in a de Le Cuona linen are grouped on a cashmere carpet by Mansour Modern; the coverlet is made of a Lee Jofa linen, the walnut cabinet conceals a pop-up television, and the concrete fireplace is original to the house.

BEVERLY HILLS: Sports agent Stephen Dubin and his wife, Brenda Ellerin, an investment manager, commissioned Whipple Russell Architects to create a modernist home for their family on a sloping site in Beverly Hills; the interiors were decorated by Tocha Project, and the landscape design was overseen by Paul Robbins of British Garden Co.

BEVERLY HILLS: A reflecting pool borders the glass-enclosed dining room, whose table and chairs are by B&B Italia.

LOS ANGELES: The architecture firm McRitchie Design collaborated with Gary Hutton Design on the renovation of collector Chara Schreyer's gallery-like Los Angeles home, which has expansive views of the city. A bronze sculpture by Stephen de Staebler stands next to the pool, which is sheathed in Sicis glass mosaic tile; William Peters Landscape Architect oversaw the plantings around the terraces.

LOS ANGELES: In the family room, a multipanel collage work by Mark Bradford and one of Donald Judd's Stack sculptures overlook a sofa designed by Piero Lissoni for Living Divani, an angular Council bench, a pair of Poul Kjærholm steel-and-rope chairs by Fritz Hansen, and a B&B Italia cocktail table; the carpet was custom made by Tai Ping. Photo: Roger Davies